El MetroCable Medellin – aluminum pods hurtling down from the mountains above.
Led by the nose past fried banana fritter stands to the MetroCable, Medellin.
El Metrocable something to do, an afternoon to kill, a minor thrill.
I felt a sense of occasion for sure as we trapesed up crowded steps, past the ticket office, through the turnstiles. All the time under the watchful gaze of uniformed police and onto the platform. It was here that the swinging aluminum-pods descend from the mountains. The gondolas made a delirious circuit of the platform, doors popped akimbo.
So we grabbed hold, piled in and took off!
We instantly swung upwards, fast, our hearts in our throats.
We were ziplining in tin cans, by the seats of our pants, towards Andean crests.
Eventually getting used to the sensation, I looked voyeuristicly up to the slopes carpeted with red brick shanty’s.
Drone like, we got fleeting glimpses of lives, kites, kids playing, dogs chasing tails and teenagers on scooters tearing up impossibly steep roads.
Why don’t they shoot at us?
Ain’t it intrusive?
What do they think of us?
Could you get away with this above Rio De Janeiro, home to Little Zeh, Cidade de Deus fame?
I don’t think so, unless you wanted to be a tin-can piñata, taking incoming, from the street gangs at war with the cops below.
But this is Medellin, Ciudad de Primavera, safer, innovative and more vibrant.
Meanwhile, as we summited the ridges, it seemed we were skimming only a few feet over unsuspecting tin roofs and their unconcerned occupants below.
As we drew further away from Medellin the more it seemed we were suspended above precarious lives that barely clinging to the slopes.
The poverty becoming more acute, as we hurtled up and away from the glamour of El Poblado.
Eventually, we arrived, with was a ‘gracias a Dios’ (Thank the Lord!) feeling.
Finally, with our feet on terra-firma welcomed by a chill breeze. huge skies and a stunning panorama of Medellin opens up to us.
It was then that we saw the city sprawling across the narrow valley from the viewing platform, backing onto apartment blocks.
Just at this moment, in a surreal twist of magic realism a farmer herded his Fresians by. Without dount a curiously incongruous and bucolic when set against the slums below.